Stephen Fleming backs under-fire RPS skipper MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni-Stephen Fleming
Kolkata: Rising Pune Supergiants coach Stephen Fleming and captain MS Dhoni during a practice session at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 13, 2016. (Photo Source: IANS)

The Rising Pune Supergiants have had a sorry campaign in their first stint at the Indian Premier League. Coach Stephen Fleming has come in support of captain MS Dhoni after the poor show by the team this year.

Fleming rightly cited that it is not the fault of the skipper as the team has failed to click as a collective unit. He added that a lot of factors have led to the state of the Rising Pune Supergiants languishing at the bottom of the points table. MS Dhoni has been under fire and received a lot of criticism for his team’s poor performance.


Fleming said it is always a rough challenge to bring a new group under the umbrella. Speaking on this, the RPS coach said “It’s true. But public take a lot of interest in fortunes of the teams so they can over analyze team’s performances, individual contribution. But it was a big challenge to bring another group together. You have to get to know people very quickly and not only that you have to get your combination right. How players perform.”

MS Dhoni was also criticized for not using spinner Ravi Ashwin’s full quota of 4 overs. Defending this Fleming pointed out that for the spinners to take effect; they need to pick early wickets, which has not been the case with them.  “If you take wickets at the top it allows our spinners to get into the game. We have not done that on some of the tracks. MS has been little reticent bringing the spinners in knowing the history against some of the players — Kohli is probably one who plays Ashwin very well,” he said about Ashwin .

Stephen Fleming also cited that the major problem was losing their 4 overseas first choice players. “You need to know we lost four of our first choice overseas players… So it’s five from our first choice team. That’s unusual. I’ve never seen that happened before. It meant a little bit more uncertainty. We had five last over finishes and we converted three of those,” quoted the former New Zealand skipper.

Talking about the points table and the future of the franchise, he was optimistic about the bench strength and said they will definitely come up good in the next season. “What it suggests that we just need to get better. One of the challenges of a new team is it just takes a bit of time to have a settled look. We missed having a home ground, that’s another comfort so we had to travel a lot more. And we just could not quite get across the line…”

“We are looking to take forward to next year. Maybe we are a team which would be at the top of the table not bottom,” Stephen Fleming concluded.

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